October 27, 2021

The Minority Caucus in Ghana’s Parliament through its Ranking Member John Jinapor has urged the government to scrap the Special Petroleum Tax imposed on petroleum products with immediate effect.

According to him scraping of the Special Petroleum Tax imposed on petroleum products will provide some respite for Ghanaians from the agonizing high cost of fuel at the pump.

Speaking at a media briefing in Accra on Tuesday,  the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee,  John Abdulai Jinapor explained that the demands by the Minority Caucus on the Committee to scrap the Special Petroleum Tax imposed on petroleum products has become necessary because crude prices which was pegged at a bench-mark price of $54.75 dollar per barrel in the 2021 budget statement has risen to over $85 representing an increment of  over 55%.

“As a net exporter of crude oil, Ghana’s revenue receipts from petroleum exports are therefore expected to increase from the initially projected figure of $800 million to over $1.2 billion. What this means is that the nation is making huge unanticipated revenues from crude exports hence the need to abolish the Special Petroleum Tax to ameliorate the suffering of the ordinary Ghanaian.” He indicated.

Mr.  Jinapor who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu Constituency in the Savanna Region insisted that despite the introduction of a sanitation levy of 10 pesewas per liter of fuel, the country continues to be engulfed in filth with poor management of garbage across the various towns and cities of the country.

The group is therefore calling for a review of the sanitation levy by resorting to the polluter pay mechanism which is a more pragmatic way of managing our waste.

They argued that it is untenable to tax the ordinary fuel consumers since the consumption of same does not contribute to the waste being generated daily.

Mr. Jinapor further urged the Nana Akufo-Addo-Bawumia led government to, with immediate effect reconstitute the Board of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and appoint a substantive Managing Director with the task of ensuring that the refinery is able to process domestic crude to its fullest capacity.

According to him the current state of TOR leaves much to be desired. “It will be recalled that as part of efforts to revamp TOR and ensure value addition to our domestic crude, the NDC at the time procured about 2million barrels of crude for processing by TOR.

Unfortunately, but characteristic of this administration, that parcel of crude which was procured by the NDC administration for TOR to process was sold under very opaque and bizarre circumstances.

Today as a result of bad management and poor leadership, the Tema oil refinery is on the verge of collapse with government proposing to turn it into a tank farm”, he stressed.

“We wish to state that we reject the decision by President Akufo-Addo to turn the refinery into a tank farm, we believe that with the right polices, the refinery can be turned around to fulfill the purpose for which it was built.” The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee disclosed.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com